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Effective Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain

Effective Diagnosis of Low Back Pain
Healthy Backs and Regular Chiropractic Care

Regular chiropractic care helps your body function at peak capacity. Your body is a dynamic structure and, as in all finely crafted machines, it's possible for subtle things to go wrong. The problem, of course, is that as these problems are subtle we don't know about them until, in a sense, it's too late. Too late, that is, from the point of view of how long it may take to get better now that the problem's been going on for some time.

By receiving regular chiropractic care you're helping to nip various physical problems in the bud. For example, low back stiffness, which if left unattended might develop into a mechanical problem and ultimately a herniated lumbar disc, is identified at the outset and lessened or resolved by regular chiropractic care. By helping you improve your overall health and well-being, regular chiropractic care is a modern implementation of the old proverb, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

Here's an all-too-common situation. You develop low back pain that lasts for more than a few days and you're uncomfortable enough to go see your primary care physician. He or she tells you it's not clear what's going on and sends you for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of your lumbar spine. The study comes back showing one or two herniated intervertebral discs. [Intervertebral discs are cartilaginous shock absorbers interspaced between pairs of spinal vertebras.] Your doctor informs you that you have "herniated discs in your back" and prescribes medications and a course of physical therapy. Your doctor may even refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate the need for surgery on your back.

Now, all of these recommendations may be necessary. Or none of them may be necessary and all that's needed is some rest and an exercise rehabilitation program that you could do on your own if you were given the proper instructions. The culprit here is how the presence of the herniated disc or discs is interpreted. It's important to remember that not all herniated discs are a problem requiring a solution. In fact, a sizable proportion of such disc herniations (30% or more)1 represent the progression of natural processes and are not a problem at all.2,3 But many family doctors and even specialists are not appropriately trained in accurate differentiation among the various possibilities. When faced with MRI evidence of a herniated disc, such doctors see it as a disorder or disease that needs to be treated and fixed. Such an approach results in significant stress and leads to unnecessary procedures and financial hardship for many patients.

Given the frequency of occurrence of such instances of "over-diagnosis", how can a person with back pain expect to receive appropriate care? Of course, people as patients are usually not in a position to be able to overrule their doctor's recommendations. The answer lies in obtaining relevant information. Let your doctor know you're aware that up to one-third of normal persons have herniated discs, and ask whether it's possible that your disc herniation is in fact unrelated to your back pain and merely an incidental finding. Further, if your back pain is not accompanied by leg pain radiating below your knee, it may be that the disc herniation is not affecting spinal nerve roots and may be treated by very conservative measures such as rest followed-up with exercise.

Thus, not all disc herniations have the same impact on a person's health. Some represent normal findings, even if they are present in a person who has back pain. Let your doctor explain to you exactly why your particular problem requires more than watchful waiting. Your local chiropractor will be able to provide you with the very best expert advice and recommendations for any necessary treatment.

1Takatalo J, et al: Does lumbar disc degeneration on magnetic resonance imaging associate with low back symptom severity in young Finnish adults? Spine (Phila PA 1976) 36(25):2180-2189, 2011
2Spontaneous regression of herniated lumbar discs. Kim ES, et al: J Clin Neurosci 2013 Oct 24. pii: S0967-5868(13)00552-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.10.008. [Epub ahead of print]
3Endean A, et al: Potential of magnetic resonance imaging findings to refine case definition for mechanical low back pain in epidemiological studies: a systematic review. Spine (Phila PA 1976) 36(2):160-169, 2011

Holiday Hours

We will be closed November 23rd & 24th in honor of Thanksgiving.

We will also be closed on Monday December 25th & Monday January 1st. The remainder of those weeks will be normal business hours.

Wishing all of our practice members and their families a healthy & happy holiday season! 

269-655-2100.

THIS ---->https://maplelakechiroscom.chiromatrixbase.com/index.php

Office Hours

DayMorningAfternoon
Monday8 - 11:30am1:30pm-6pm
Tuesday7:30am1:30pm
Wednesday8 - 11:30am1:30-6pm
Thursday2:30pm6:30pm
Friday7:30am1:30pm
SaturdayClosedClosed
SundayClosedClosed
Day Morning Afternoon
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8 - 11:30am 7:30am 8 - 11:30am 2:30pm 7:30am Closed Closed
1:30pm-6pm 1:30pm 1:30-6pm 6:30pm 1:30pm Closed Closed

Testimonial

"Dr. Brittany Gregory is awesome. She has helped me beyond words. I am even taking my children to her to help with a chronic cough in my 1 year old which is getting better. It is ear issues with my four year old. She is patient and explains everything she is doing. Well worth the visit. I went in with severe back pain and am much better. Thank you so much for everything you are doing for my family!!"- Jessica H.

"It is always pleasant to visit Maple Lake Chiropractic. The atmosphere is so friendly and easy going. The Doctors are both very personable, I have never seen them without a smile. It is always a pleasure to go there." -Diana

 "I called to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hines and he got me in that afternoon. I had pain and numbness shooting into my feet and I could barely walk. After spending the time to find what was actually causing my issue, I received three adjustments that week. 3 months later I'm pain and problem free but still going every week so my issue doesn't come back. Highly recommend this office" -Matt

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